The Hörluchs HL1100 are part of the most compact range offered by the German manufacturer. As a specialist in hearing aid acoustics, Hörluchs bring their experience in ergonomic design and construction to their headphone offering. These headphones also turn out to be “speech-oriented” when it comes to overall sound quality. Read on to see what this is all about.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principleBalanced Armature
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance[Manufacturer specification] 11 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)[Manufacturer specification] 128 dB
- Weight with cable14 g
- Weight without cable5 g
- Cable length160 cm
What's in the box
- 6 pairs of ear tips
- Smart caps
- Cleaning cloth
- Carrying pouch
The Hörluchs HL1100 includes six pairs of silicone and memory foam earmolds, a carry bag made of denim fabric and a soft cleaning cloth, in addition to the in-ears themselves. A pair of attachable red caps, so-called “Smart Caps” are also thrown in for good measure. These can be attached to the headphone housing to modify their appearance. By contrast, without the caps attached, these are black in-ears with a rather simple design concept.
Form Follows Function
The in-ear housings are flattened on the outside but ergonomically shaped on the inner sides. This allows them to fit snugly into the ears and sit without pressure being applied. The earpieces, which extend into the auditory canal, are also ergonomically designed. The replaceable cable is spiralled, so it is less prone to accidental twisting and knotting. The cable is plugged into the in-ear housings at the top via two exposed contacts. From there it can then be guided on both sides over the earpieces, consequently acting as a tension relief. A covering with bending wire ensures that the cable is reinforced at this point and shaped appropriately. In addition, the sound openings of the earpieces come equipped with a small grille to prevent dirt from penetrating. Form and function combine to create a really solid and sensible unit here.
The HL1100 can manage the typical frequency range of the human ear from 20 to 20,000 Hz, which it reproduces with a maximum sound pressure of 125 dB SPL. An impedance of 11 Ohm is sufficient, which in combination with weaker pre-amps of smartphones, tablets and the like has a positive impact. The cable is also top of the range. With a length of 1.60 metres, it is optimally proportioned and can, therefore, be positioned under clothing without any problems.
The ergonomic design of the inside of the housing makes the HL1100 a comfortable in-ear option. Even the low weight of only 5 grams, not including cable, adds to the pleasant wearing experience. Additionally, various sizes of earmolds provide good shielding from external noise. This applies especially to the memory foam pieces.
Not Perfectly Balanced
Balanced armature drivers usually deliver a detailed and harmonically weighted sound. However, the HL 1100 doesn’t sound as balanced as expected to my ears. Restrained basses meet relatively finely drawn mids and highs here with the mids as the main focus. Even the use of an equaliser doesn’t change this much since the bass strains quite prematurely (i.e. at medium volume) when the volume is increased by a filter. In short, my opinion is that these in-ears are particularly suitable for listening to productions with spoken-word audio. Radio plays, audiobooks or even films and television series can be listened to very effectively with these headphones, as they emphasise the presence of the voice particularly effectively. Anyone who wants to use the HL1100 as a monitoring in-ear solution can expect to enjoy presentations and talks with them.
With the HL1100, Hörluchs deliver a solid package as far as the scope of delivery is concerned. The usability of the earphones is also excellent, from the ergonomics of the housing to the option of changing the appearance using the included Smart Caps, to the over-ear interchangeable cable. In terms of sound, the emphasis here is clearly on detailed highs and especially on differentiated mids. When it comes to bass, however, the HL1100’s performance reaches its limits relatively quickly and the low frequencies remain insufficiently represented. All in all, the Hörluchs HL1100 can be successfully employed for audiobooks, radio plays and gaming. However, they can also be a helpful tool for moderators, presenters and singers.